The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has criticised the Nigerian government over the arrest and detention of separatist leaders, Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu.
The umbrella body of the Southern Kaduna people urged the apex government to deploy the same tactics adopted in the arrest of Kanu, the leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Adeniyi Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, in tackling the rampaging bandits in the North.
SOKAPU’s National President, Jonathan Asake, stated this while addressing journalists in Kaduna, north-western Nigeria, on Thursday.
According to him, the Muhammadu Buhari administration must stop the use of force on secessionists. The group urged the FG to treat criminals in the North, bandits most especially, the same way.
Asake, a former House of Representatives member, said, “Again, this year, with the commencement of another rainy season, the onslaughts have resumed, which coincide with the period when our farming communities need to be on their farms.
“With particular reference are the recent attacks on communities in Zangon Kataf LGA, where no fewer than 100 persons have been massacred within seven days, 12 villages completely decimated and over 90 per cent of Atyap land deserted by inhabitants over fears of frightening uncertainties.
“It is sadly unbelievable that 10 days after these massacres and displacement in our communities from all observable indices, there appears to be a conspiracy of silence or a deliberate attempt by the government to downplay the severity of the atrocities and genocides being perpetrated by these attackers across our communities.”
Furthermore, Asake said: “We are convinced beyond doubt that the government has a capacity to combat these daredevil bandits, who have made life unbearable for our communities.
“If the government could lure the Benue militant, Terwase Akwaza, aka Gana, out of his hideout in September 2020, and later killed him; if they could trace Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to Kenya and blindfold him to Nigeria in June 2021; if they could trace Sunday Igboho to Cotonou and arrest him just a few days ago; and if they could smoke out the commander of the Eastern Security Network, Ikonso, and later kill him in April 2021, then, it clearly shows that the government has enough capacity to deal with the situation.
“We find it strange to explain how the government is unwilling to tackle banditry and kidnappings in the North, but at the same time hasty in deploying full intelligence and military force against southern and Middle Belt activists, who are engaged in one form of agitation, criminality or otherwise.
“Even when these bandits brought down an air force jet last Sunday, July 19, at the border between Zamafa and Kaduna states, thereby challenging the sovereignty of our country, the government has not shown enough action to tackle the dangers posed by bandits and insurgents, who have now acquired anti-aircraft launchers and sophisticated weapons.
“The survival, unity and progress of the Nigerian state are more threatened by the untamed atrocities of these northern bandit groups and armed Fulani herdsmen more than the actions of the Kanus, Igbohos and Terwases of the southern and Middle Belt regions.”